Chaika is a light novel. That is a statement of fact; I intend it neither positively nor negatively. There are a lot of light novel tropes, and it just feels like one throughout. If one were to be asked, without knowing, what the source was, it would probably be pretty easy to discern. But there are, like all things, good ones and bad ones, and I think Chaika sits comfortably in a state of mediocrity where it can't be declared one or the other.
Despite that, though, the series itself is just fun. It was enjoyable to watch, it didn't feel like a drag. While it isn't a series that necessarily leaves the viewer craving for more, it's certainly one that gives the viewer a feeling of joy and satisfaction when moving on to the next episode. The characters, their banter, the action sequences, every little thing has at least some degree of charm to it that lends to Chaika's attractiveness as an anime.
One of the highlights of the series for me is likely one of the most divisive: the way the titular Chaika speaks. Personally, Chaika's manner of speech is adorable and it gives the character something unique to set her apart, on top of her already fairly unique appearance. For some, though, I could see this being grating or irritating. Chaika talks in such a way that "I'll shoot the enemy" would likely be said as something like "Chaika. Enemy. Shoot." It's cute and endearing.
The plot of the series is nothing groundbreaking. However, it is to its benefit that it plays it rather simply and doesn't try to introduce anything too convoluted or complicated in attempt to force depth into it. A young girl, Chaika, is the daughter of a deceased emperor. The people who killed the emperor basically dissected him and use his limbs as fuel for magic. She wants to gather up all the pieces of her dad and give him a proper funeral. Boom, that's it. There are elements introduced later on to give it a more cohesive plot with potential for moving forward. At its base, though, the plot is easy to follow along with and allows for a very casual, relaxing watch.
Chaika is a pretty good time overall; its one of those series that I can't see myself really pushing anyone to watch, but, at the same time, it's not forgettable or boring. It's one of those series that just is. There's no overthinking it, there's joy when you see screenshots or memes and passive acknowledgement otherwise. It's along the lines of encouraging someone who would want to watch it, but not really trying to push it onto other people either.
I feel like I might be getting a bit redundant, and I really should have wrote this after I finished it when my thoughts were more put together, but hey, at least this season of anime is pretty good.
For those that like simplistic fantasy worlds, with cool magic used in conjunction with guns, give it a shot. Especially if you're in the mood for something more fun and casual than deep and thought provoking.